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D.C. Standing Up For Women’s Reproductive Health Decisions

My colleague Michelle wrote recently about proactive legislation that state legislators are introducing in order to expand and protect women’s access to reproductive health care services. Here’s one more example: Yesterday, D.C. Council Member Grosso introduced the “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014.” Like bills introduced in Michigan and New York, this bill will protect employees from discrimination by an employer because of a reproductive health decision, like using birth control or in vitro fertilization.

As Councilmember Grosso explained, “Nationally, there have been a number of disturbing cases of bosses retaliating against employees for their reproductive health care decisions. For example, in Wisconsin, after the state legislature passed a law requiring insurance plans to cover contraception, the Catholic diocese told employees that if they used the benefit, they would be fired. In the past 4 years alone, individuals in California, Texas, Montana, and Indiana have brought discrimination suits against their employers after being fired from their jobs for being pregnant without being married.”

And of course the cases against the federal birth control benefit have exposed a host of bosses who want to discriminate against their employees by taking contraceptive coverage away from the women who work for them.

We applaud Councilmember Grasso for standing up and signaling that DC “stand[s] by the rights of women and families to make their own reproductive health decisions without involvement from their employer.”